Publications

Articles From Helen W. Gunnarsson

Constructive discharge can lead to strict Title VII liability for employers

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
February
2004
LawPulse
Page 62
The seventh circuit ruled recently that constructive discharge can be a "tangible employment action" in a Title VII suit, in which case employers may not invoke affirmative defenses. And the employer in this case was an Illinois circuit court.

Getting paid, part 1: demand bankruptcy fees up front

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
February
2004
LawPulse
Page 62
Thanks to a new seventh circuit case, it's more important than ever for attorneys who represent debtors in Chapter 7 to get all of their fees up front.

Getting paid, part 2: A new probate pitfall to avoid

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
February
2004
LawPulse
Page 62
If your client is seeking payment from an estate, make sure you file a claim with the probate court even if the estate representative knows about the debt; that knowledge might not put the estate on the hook, according to a new appellate court ruling.

Is your firm registered with the supreme court?

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
February
2004
LawPulse
Page 62
News flash: many law firms, not just lawyers, must register, and those who don't could see their fee awards invalidated.

New interstate child-custody statute for the New Year

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
February
2004
LawPulse
Page 62
If your practice includes family law, familiarize yourself with the newly effective Illinois Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction Enforcement Act.

Illinois OKs speaking in (native) tongues in the workplace

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
January
2004
LawPulse
Page 10
Habla Espanol in the workplace? You can now with impunity, as long as it's your native language and you're talking about non-work-related matters.

More on traffic stops and the Illinois Supreme Court

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
January
2004
LawPulse
Page 10
Here's a summary of two opinions that came down after last month's Journal article on the Illinois Supreme Court's recent interpretation of the Terry doctrine went to press.

New law makes it easier to investigate workplace misconduct

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
January
2004
LawPulse
Page 10
Employers are no longer required to get an alleged wrongdoer's consent to hire an outside firm to conduct an investigation of alleged misconduct on the job.

Posner to hoteliers: don’t let the bedbugs bite

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
January
2004
LawPulse
Page 10
A leading conservative jurist makes a statement about punitive damages and pest control.

Uniform Mediation Act comes to Illinois

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
January
2004
LawPulse
Page 10
Illinois' Uniform Mediation Act; one of two such state Acts nationwide; took effect January 1.

Calculating interest on child support; are you doing what the law requires?

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
December
2003
LawPulse
Page 594
There's nothing interesting about calculating interest on overdue child support. But like it or not, you'd best not neglect it, which is what too many lawyers do.

Can a parent inherit from a stillborn child?

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
December
2003
LawPulse
Page 594
A fascinating, if perplexing, Illinois Supreme Court opinion seems to say that a fetus can have an estate for inheritance purposes.

Consumer Fraud Act protections for car dealers deemed “special legislation”

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
December
2003
LawPulse
Page 594
A recent Illinois Supreme Court case hands car buyers a victory.

Interrogatories: the numbers game

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
December
2003
LawPulse
Page 594
What if you're presented by an opponent with too many interrogatories, or what if you want to exceed the limits yourself? Here are some ideas.

Jury instruction revisions now on the Web

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
December
2003
LawPulse
Page 594
You'll find revisions to IPI instructions on the supreme court's Web site before they appear in hard copy.

Counseling gay couples

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
November
2003
LawPulse
Page 544
While the issues that arise in gay relationships are familiar, the legal framework is different. It's a difference that family practitioners and estate planners should learn to navigate.

Judges must warn immigrants that guilty pleas can lead to deportation

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
November
2003
LawPulse
Page 544
A new law requires judges to warn immigrant defendants that their plea bargains can lead to deportation.

Making UIM arbitration awards binding in more cases

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
November
2003
LawPulse
Page 544
Effective January 1, an ISBA-backed bill more than doubles the statutory limits on binding arbitration awards in UIM cases, reducing the incentive for insurers to reject them.

Return of the Petrillo doctrine for hospital defendants

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
November
2003
LawPulse
Page 544
Beginning next year, a new law will once again ban ex parte conversations between a hospital's lawyers and a plaintiff's treating physicians.

The Structured Settlement Protection Act helps judges say “no”

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
November
2003
LawPulse
Page 544
Some damage-award recipients don't act wisely when trading in their structured settlements for lump-sum payouts. A new law helps courts say "no" to bad deals.

Breathing new life into forum non conveniens?

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
October
2003
LawPulse
Page 486
A new supreme court case may signal a new willingness to police forum shopping, legal scholars say.

Business-law clean-up bill now on the books

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
October
2003
LawPulse
Page 486
The new Act reconciles inconsistencies, removes obsolete provisions, and makes compliance with the law easier.

Little-noted Illinois Civil Rights Act takes effect January 1

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
October
2003
LawPulse
Page 486
Among other things, the new law allows attorney-fee awards to prevailing claimants.

Small firms, big cases

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
October
2003
LawPulse
Page 486
How three lawyers from small-practice settings and different parts of Illinois teamed up to bring a high-stakes whistleblower lawsuit.

State Lawsuit Immunity Act opens Illinois to lawsuits from state employees

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
October
2003
LawPulse
Page 486
The new law, which allows state employees to bring race, age, and other discrimination suits, has claimants' lawyers cheering.

Hospitals potentially liable even if doctor takes the blame

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
September
2003
LawPulse
Page 430
The supreme court recently affirmed a med-mal plaintiff's right to proceed against a hospital even where the physician falls on his sword.

Is Moren unmoorin’ administrative agencies from statutory limits?

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
September
2003
LawPulse
Page 430
According to one informed observer, a recent appellate case gives administrative agencies powers the legislature didn't intend to confer.

MJP: it’s not just a large-firm issue

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
September
2003
LawPulse
Page 430
Do any of your clients winter in Florida? Do you do legal work with your laptop and cell phone while on vacation out of state? Find out what ISBA has done to promote clearer rules defining the dos and don'ts of multijurisdictional practice.

Mortgage Certificate of Relief Act amendments signed into law

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
September
2003
LawPulse
Page 430
Lenders often fail to send a certificate of release after a mortgage has been paid off. A new law addresses the problem.

Will Ozik inspire more p.i. settlements?

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
September
2003
LawPulse
Page 430
According to plaintiffs' lawyers, a recent appellate court ruling means that more defendants will be found jointly, rather than just severally, liable. And that could make them more willing to settle.

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